A Weekend at the Beach

Lo Tide Run / Walk and Wrightsville Beach Half Marathon

St. Patrick’s Day weekend we traveled to Carolina Beach for the Lo Tide Run / Walk. This is an all-volunteer race with almost 100% of the proceeds going towards helping those that are fighting cancer. I was so happy to be helping out such a worthy cause.  I decided that I wanted to walk this entire course and just enjoy spending time with friends.

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It was a little chilly at the beginning but it warmed up not long into the walk. A beautiful Carolina Beach morning. We had a wonderful time.

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After the walk, Ron was on a quest to find some juice. He found some at the Tidal Creek Co-op in Wilmington. It was such a cute mini “Whole Foods”. We both loved it.

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Note that little shot of wheatgrass next to Ron’s mean green juice.

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And, right beside Tidal Creek, I spotted Great Harvest. GH is my very favorite bread store. We got a loaf of Ezekiel and a loaf of Superfood.

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Yummo!

Next up was the Wrightsville Beach Marathon expo. The expo was pretty small. But as I am finding more and more, directors are getting things down like clockwork and have the bib and t-shirt pickups organized perfectly. Not a bit of waiting in line! I splurged big time and got some new Bluetooth headphones and a new arm band for my phone.

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These headphones were the bomb.  They didn’t bounce around at all.  I loved them.  I didn’t wear them the entire time but even when I had them around my neck they were so comfortable.

 

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Great armband!  Didn’t slip one bit!  I love that it has a place for a GU or chap stick and a spot for your ID or debit card.

I broke every rule in the book about nothing new on race days! I wore my new headphones, a new running skirt, my new arm band, and a new Lifeproof case on my iPhone. I even took a new and un-tested flavor of GU. (peanut butter)

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My running skirt has 2 snaps in front so you don’t have to pin your race bib to your shirt.  So cool!

Frank Shorter was at the starting line and he gave the advice of starting out slow and then backing off. This is great advice for a marathon but for this half marathon for me, I ditched his advice and started off strong and tried to speed up. I was risking it to push myself too hard in the beginning and I knew it.

My splits don’t really give the whole picture and show that miles 0-3 were around and 11:00 minute pace. It didn’t feel slow to me because this is the part that is really crowded and I was concentrating hard on weaving in and out of people. I wanted to get ahead of them but I was cautious to make sure I didn’t make any discourteous moves and endanger other runners. You cross the IntraCoastal Waterway around mile 3 and the bridge you go across is a drawbridge. The surface is uneven and we had been warned to pick-up our feet. I saw one runner that had fallen and just like at Gasparilla, a young woman was on a stretcher.

Around this time, I spotted the 4:30 marathon pacer. I wondered if the 2:15 half marathon pacer would be anywhere near him and sure enough, she was. The 2 pacers were very close together with a group of about 7 runners. My plan had been to stick with them like glue if I found them so that is what I did. Juliane was the half pacer. She had a pink hat on and I was determined to not let that pink hat out of my sites. I would stop when she stopped for water or Gatorade. Even though she stopped, by the time I grabbed my water and looked up, she had taken off and was several feet ahead. I gulped my water and took off like lightening.

Juliane was very quiet and had a sweet smile. She kept encouraging all of us. She’d announce the miles and the water stops and had the nicest personality ever.

                                                   Me again

(That’s Juliane in the pink hat behind me.  I have no idea who the guy is in the gold shirt.) 

The full pacer’s name was Frank and he was a hoot. He was a talker! He kept rattling off race tips about running the tangents and relaxing our arms. He told us to hold our fingers like we were holding a potato chip. I knew about both of these tips and realized we had a lot in common. He knew EVERYBODY along the course and kept high fiving different runners and volunteers. Frank and Juliane get all the credit for my PR!

Before I knew it, we were saying goodbye to Frank and the other marathoners and we were on the homestretch. Just under 2 miles to go. One of the other runners, Taylor, and I had stuck up a conversation and ended up getting a little ahead of Juliane.

                 Run Without Limits (Taylor is #2883.)

Juliane was careful to keep the pace perfect for the others in the group but she encouraged us to run on if we could. I took off with Taylor but couldn’t keep up with her. I kept at it though and before long, I heard Juliane encouraging me on. Just a tenth of a mile left. The clock read 2:15 when I crossed the finish line and even though 2:15 would have been a PR for me and I would have been overjoyed with that time, I knew I had come in under a 2:15. My Garmin read 2:12:30 and my official chip time was 2:12:26. Holy Cow!

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3 years and 4 months after my first and also my fastest half I had done it! A new PR by 6 minutes! Woohoo!

I was on cloud nine from that moment on.

I walked back to the finish line area and started stretching my ITB all while keeping a keen eye out for Andie. I knew she would be next. She came in looking strong!

Andie

Way to go honey! I am so proud of her. This was Andie’s 2nd half marathon.

Next I walked down just a little to find a recycle bin for my water bottle. Just as I was turning around, Ron ran by on his way to his own PR.  I didn’t get a picture of Ron but I assure you he was all smiles!

All Andie was wanting was a hot shower so she left right after her finish. They had a great selection of IPAs at this race so I knew Ron would have no problem hanging around. I headed back to the food area and chowed down on 3 pieces of cheese pizza. They were offering free massages so I added my name to the list and waited my turn. It didn’t take too long for my number to be called. My masseuse was a petite young woman but she had very strong hands. They know exactly the right moves to do on us runners and she hit all the right spots. My ITB was just a little sore before but afterwards I felt great. She had to have worked on me for 20 minutes at least! Such a great perk!

Here’s my traditional shirt and medal shot after my shower.

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Loved the shirt! So soft and comfortable. A lot of races are giving out this new type of technical shirt that isn’t your normal polyester feel. These feel like the softest cotton you can imagine.

Ron and I were still in the celebration mood so we headed down to Historic Wilmington and to Ron’s favorite brewery. Front Street Brewery is a great place for beer lovers and foodies alike.

We got fried pickles for our appetizer.

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Ron chose a burger and I got a salad. Delicious!

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And, no trip to here would be complete without a stop to Kilwin’s!

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We both got butter pecan ice cream in a waffle cone. A perfect ending to a fantabulous weekend!

Just one shout out before I sign off.  Check out the times for all the paces.  That amazes me how they do it.  All of them finished so very close to their goal. 

Full:
Christine Rockey 3:10 group- 3:09:04
Heran Sabio 3:30 group- 3:30:12
George Redman 3:45 group- 3:45:47
Eddy Saldana 4:00 group- 3:59:31
Frank Borque 4:30 group- 4:29:51
Half:
Eric Torey 1:30 group- 1:29:18
Rick Poplaski 1:45 group- 1:44:46
Brenda Estlak 2:00 group- 1:59:58
Juliane Young 2:15 group- 2:14:08
Laura Justice 2:30 group- 2:27:41

 

Night Friends!  Happy Running!

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